Baptisia lanceolata
Common Name: gopherweed 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Fabaceae
Native Range: Southeastern United States
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Best grown in evenly moist to dry, well-draining, sandy loams in full sun. Hardy in Zones 6-9.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Baptisia lanceolata, commonly called gopherweed, is a herbaceous perennial native to sandy, dry woodlands and roadsides of parts of the southeastern United States. Mature plants have an upright, well-branched, rounded habit and will reach up to 3' tall with an equal spread. The trifoliate leaves are made up of three elliptic to oblanceolate leaflets that can reach up to 5" long and 1.25" wide. In spring, bright yellow pea-like flowers bloom from the leaf axils at the ends of the branches. The flowers are held either singly or in small clusters and are followed by black seed pods that persist on the plant through winter. The flowers are attractive to bees and other insect pollinators.

The genus name Baptisia comes from the Greek word bapto meaning "to dye".

The specific epithet lanceolata means "lance-shaped", in reference to the shape of the foliage.


No major pest or disease problems of note. Sensitive to juglone. Tends to perform poorly when planted close to black walnut trees.


Native gardens, woodland margins, rock gardens.